Dubai, May 19, 2019 – Smart Dubai has launched a report titled “Decentralised Data for Dubai” in association with Outlier Ventures D3 Sandbox exploring the role of data and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in smart city building.
The findings of the report underlined the opportunities presented by the convergence of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), distributed ledger technology (DLT), and the Internet of Things (IoT), to transform city services for citizens and enterprises. The study additionally asserted that open networks were vital for delivering the next stage of open data infrastructure.
His Excellency Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai, CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment, said: “Smart Dubai is on a mission to establish Dubai as the world’s smartest and happiest city. All of our efforts and plans are aimed towards the ambitious objective of reinventing the city as we know it, taking services to a higher level, and addressing any and all challenges standing in the way of the bright future we strive to build.”
“With that goal in mind, we are looking to tap into the massive potential of technology – and data, in particular – to promote innovation and create value for our communities, companies, partners, and investors in the UAE and abroad,” H.E. added. “We are eager to explore and develop our partnership with Outlier Ventures, and this report we are launching today marks the beginning of our journey to explore data decentralisation and facilitate the effective and secure exchange of data.”
“We are adamant in moving forward with our plans to establish an open, collaborative, and innovation-friendly environment, which is indispensable for emerging technologies and smart cities to flourish,” H.E. concluded, noting that Smart Dubai will be a catalyst that provides support for innovative start-ups, government entities, and the wider community.
The report revealed that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will be living in cities that produce more than 80% of global GDP. Data, the study asserts, will be the engine driving the growth of these megacities, posing challenges in infrastructure, communication, transport, and healthcare. Outdated and ineffective work systems and the lack of coordination among the various relevant city entities have restricted innovation, stunting comprehensive and sustainable development. According to the report, public-private partnerships have helped establish networks, constituting a first step to addressing the issue, but the challenge remains in connecting individuals, assets, and data to truly benefit from these networks.
Furthermore, the study reveals that by 2025, the amount of data produced annually will reach 180 zettabytes, up from 4.4 zettabytes in 2013. The number of times a person interacts with communication devices is set to reach 4,800 per day within six years’ time (which is once every 18 seconds). Meanwhile, the number of devices connected within the Internet of Things surpassed the number of human beings in 2017, and are expected to reach 20.4 billion in 2020.
The report underlined the importance of data as the single most important resource for the economy of the future. To take full advantage of its potential, however, the current data “warehouses”, which impede innovation, must be replaced, where the free flow of data is essential for fostering collaboration, innovation, and transparency in economic relations.
Jamie Burke, CEO, Outlier Ventures added: “Today’s web has evolved in a direction its creators didn’t foresee. It’s an economic model policy makers and the world at large are now realising is sub-optimal, unsustainable and one that holds back innovation. D3 is a bold move by Smart Dubai that signals its belief in the potential of truly open data to unleash economic and societal value.” He continued: “At Outlier we believe the Convergence Stack will drastically expedite the adoption of Web 3.0 making data usable by a wider number of participants so innovation can flourish and economic value can be realised right the way across the data ecosystem.”
Outlier Ventures is a venture platform that supports the development of emerging technologies by advising and investing in talented teams and supporting businesses that create value for an open-data economy. Established in 2013, it was Europe’s first venture firm dedicated to Blockchain technology and foresaw the coming together of key technologies like artificial intelligence and IoT with Blockchains, which the company termed “Convergence” in 2016.